Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matthew 26 41
These words were spoken to three of Jesus closest disciples at his most agonizing hour. These words were not spoken by a man but by God as man. We need to remember this as we often trivialise these two words – Watch and Pray, for we can never understand and fathom Gethsemane. For we apt to forget that it was because of the agony on the cross that we can pray and be heard of God. We must never, never forget that God answers prayer not on the basis of our earnest efforts, nor our suffering but only on the grounds of his suffering on the cross.
Stay here and watch with me' v38. These simple words of stay and watch cause us great difficulty, for when temptation and a crisis hits us we are apt to want to DO something. Staying and watching is the last thing that our common sense tells us to do. We are a people of doing, not of waiting and watching.
Our real problem is that we have not allowed the life of Christ which is being formed within us to have complete master ship of our heart and soul. Because of our unwillingness to allow the life of Jesus born into our hearts mater ship of our minds we are apt to think prayer is something that we do. We do not pray to God, but the life of Christ born into us is our intercessor. In this sense we must rest in the arms of God as we watch Christ pray from with in our inner most being – deep calling to deep.
Only in this manner do our spirits join in with Christs mind to pray in the will of the Father. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the spirit of Christ prays for us according to the will of the Father; for who has known the mind of the Father, but the spirit. Romans 8 26-27
Today we have complicated prayer for our minds have fallen asleep and we have not been watching. We agonize over why we ought to pray if God knows what we desire before we ask. We struggle with the fact that many of our prayers are unanswered. We have given up on the notion that we can change our circumstances by payer.
This is the confidencewe have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.15 And if we know that he hears us--whatever we ask--we knowthat we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15
There is much truth in these two verses that only speak to us, if we watch and pray, allowing the life of Christ born with in to intercede to the Father on our behalf. The body of Christ needs to awake from its slumber and hear what the word says. Wake up, O sleeper,rise from the dead,and Christ will shine on you." Eph. 5:14
It is time as the return of Jesus draws nigh for us to cry out in repentance that we have been arrogant in thinking that we know the will of God and hence our prayers have been in our strength and wisdom. Our cry must surely be – Lord teach us to pray for we do not know how.
The temptation is to pray in our wisdom and strength.